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Archive for July 2011

First Nations chiefs hold annual assembly

July 12, 2011 - CANADA

Moncton, New Brunswick, hosts the 32nd First Nations Assembly. At the 2011 gathering of aboriginal chiefs, damage limitation could be on the agenda. Canadian Taxpayers Federation data reveals that some aboriginal politicians are paid more than Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Canada’s May election will provide happier subject matter for First Nations, which represents the country’s indigenous people. The next parliament will include one of its largest-ever rosters of aboriginal MPs.

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Neptune completes first Sun orbit since discovery

July 12, 2011 - SPACE

Planet Neptune goes around the Sun once every 164.8 Earth years, compared to once a year for Earth, which is one-quarter Neptune’s diameter. It completes an orbit on Jul 12, arriving back in approximately the place where it was first observed officially on 23 Sep 1846. The blue ice giant is remote, but not too remote for visitors. In 1989 the Voyager 2 spacecraft passed some 2983 miles (4800 km) above its north pole. The New Horizons spacecraft is due to pass in 2014, 25 years after Voyager 2.

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International Whaling Commission holds annual meeting ;

July 11, 2011 - UNITED KINGDOM

The United Kingdom hosts the 63rd Annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission in 2011, 25 years after the passage of the 1986 International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling. It’s hard to see that the anniversary of the ban on commercial whaling could be observed as a success milestone. The IWC is hopelessly deadlocked over a deal that could overturn the ban, and three countries defy it. Australia is suing one of them.

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Jul 9 set as day for South’s independence declaration

July 9, 2011 - SUDAN

The Republic of South Sudan celebrates its birth on Jul 9 under the terms of a peace accord signed with Khartoum in 2005. The accord meant to end decades of north-south fighting in Sudan that claimed some 2 million lives has not resulted in true peace because of unresolved issues between Khartoum and its seceding south.

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Shuttle Atlantis blasts off for ISS

July 8, 2011 - UNITED STATES

NASA Shuttle Atlantis (STS-135) is due to lift off from Cape Canaveral in Florida on Jul 8 after many delays, the last flight of the 26-year-old spaceship and the end of the United States’ 30-year-old space program. STS 1 lifted off on 12 Apr 1981. It appears shuttles Endeavour and Atlantis will be mothballed as museum pieces, but the possibility remains that they might be around in private hands for longer service.

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France marks birth centenary of Georges Pompidou

July 5, 2011 - FRANCE

Georges Pompidou, French prime minister then president between 1962 and 1974, was born Jul 5, 1911. A century later, millions visit the Centre Pompidou in Paris, a nod to his vision. Time has almost buried one singular Pompidou achievement – the peaceful resolution of the country’s student uprising in May 1968, a time of riots in many nations against the prevailing social and political order. In 2011, quests for change roil several nations, with everything thrown at them except Pompidou tactics.

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Venezuela hosts inaugural CELAC summit

July 5, 2011 - CARACAS

Venezuela expects the leaders of all the countries of the Americas except the United States and Canada for the inaugural summit of the Community of Latin American and Carribean States (CELAC). The summit is emerging as more than a sideline event for Venezuela’s bicentenary, which the country has been celebrating since 2009. Venezuela expects CELAC to replace the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes the United States and Canada.

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Ratko Mladic due at second court hearing

July 4, 2011 - THE HAGUE

Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic is due at a second hearing before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). At his first hearing, on Jun 3, a week after his arrest in Serbia following 16 years at large, he refused to enter a plea. He told the court he was defending his people and his country. He is accused of masterminding the 1995 killing of some 8000 Muslim Bosniak men and boys at Srebrenica and the 44-month siege of Sarajevo from May 1992, in which 10,000 died.At the Jul 4 hearing, he will be required to enter pleas to 11 charges against him. They are related to atrocities committed during the 1992-95 conflict

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98th Tour de France pays tribute to first Col du Galibier climb

July 2, 2011 - FRANCE

The 2011 Tour de France starts in the Vendee on the west coast and ends with the triumphal ride down the Champs-Élysées in Paris. The grueling 2146 mile cycling race, viewed on television in some 190 countries, frequently shares news coverage with doping scandals. The 2011 Tour has at least one other distinction: The highest point of the race, 8677-foot Col du Galibier, will be climbed twice as a salute to the centenary of the first climb. Going in to the 2011 Tour, three-time champion Alberto Contador is under a cloud. He is facing the potential loss of his 2010 title after testing positive for two banned substances.

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Bells to toll on 50thHemingway anniversary

July 2, 2011 - UNITED STATES

The 50th anniversary of the death of Ernest Hemingway invites retrospectives on the author’s life, readings from his Pulitzer and Nobel prize-winning works and visits to Hemingway shrines. A bell could toll for Hemingway in Cuba. Because the author took his own life — as did his father, two siblings and a granddaughter over the generations — anniversary themes could include the Hemingway Curse and suicide. After 50 years, suicide statistics remain depressing.

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Sustainable development organization holds third congress

July 1, 2011 - WASHINGTON DC

The Society for International Development (SID), launched 50 years ago after the publication of Rich Nations and Poor Nations by Barbara Ward, holds its third triennial World Congress. The society sees international development organizations and agencies as insulated in their approach to solving global problems, and aims to widen the pool of practices and knowledge. The speakers include World Bank president Robert B. Zoellick and Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga. Participants will meet under the theme, Our Common Challenge: A World Moving Towards a Sustainable Future. According to the organizers, the 2011 Congress is poised to be a significant opportunity for the development community to benefit from the energy and creativity that are possible through broader collaboration, while also engaging with major political and economic leaders on future policies that impact the lives of millions. Given the complexities of the current global challenges, it is imperative that policy-makers, economists, businesses, philanthropists, NGOs, multilaterals and UN officials, and others come together to share ideas and coordinate efforts moving forward.

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